Kevin Copps as Robert in Proof. Photo by Chuck Jones

October 10, 2010

I directed the play Proof by David Auburn.  The story centered on a young woman, Catherine, who has spent years caring for her father, Robert, a brilliant mathematician struggling with mental illness; and who worries that his mental illness is hereditary.  A discovered notebook of importance raises the questions: A work of genius or madness? And more importantly, whose work is it?  Playwright David Auburn focuses on the fine line between genius and insanity.  With his intelligent and witty dialogue, he weaves together elements of drama and comedy in storytelling at its finest.

I took an  unusual twist in taking  the stance that mental illness is the actual and only antagonist; it is the entity that interferes or inhibits. With this new focus, Proof is a play full of surprises and suspense.

This original and dynamic production of Proof features four Bay Area actors.  PianoFights’ Eric Reid, seen most recently in The Position, Forking and ShortLived, takes the character Hal from a shy awkward youth to an overbearing ambitious professor.  Kevin Copps, who has appeared with numerous theater companies including Sleepwalkers Theatre, Theatre Q, Ragged Wing, Dragon, No Nude Men, and Moore Theatre, is Robert; quirky, caring, full of life, and tragic.  Theresa Adams, who most recently played Estella in Great Expectations at the Contra Costa Theatre in El Cerrito, brings to the role of Claire a sense of comedy finely balanced with the pathos of the moment.  PianoFights’ Gabrielle Patacsil imbues the dark and dynamic role of Catherine with wit and tenderness

Some comments I heard as I stood by the door last night as every one left:
“We are long time ticket holders at the Berkley Rep and this is as fine, if not finer , than anything we’ve seen there.”
“Thank-you for such a satisfying evening of theatre.”
“The performances sparkled.”
Smiles all  around.  The audience  did not leave right away which is a very good sign that they were glued to their seats.
Title: Proof
Playwright: David Auburn
Director: Suzanne Birrell
Location: Exit Stage Left
156 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA
Dates: October 15,16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, 2010

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